KINSLEY, Kan. (KSNW) – Bailey Habiger is 12 years old and loves to play sports, like basketball, but what many can’t see is the battle she’s been dealing with.
Bailey was diagnosed with epilepsy, and after almost three years in and out of hospitals, dealing with life threatening seizures, they finally found a surgery that could help.
“You’re worried about when they wake up and if they’ll know you, if they’ll be the same, so that was really scary,” said mother Jill Habiger. “They did end up having to take more of her brain than they anticipated and that they needed to go to where the activity was so it could stop.”
Doctors removed five centimeters off her brain, hoping it would stop the seizures.
Three weeks later, Bailey, against all odds, returned to school.
“I ran up the stairs on purpose because I’m not supposed to run,” Bailey said.
Her family called it a Christmas miracle.
“We had our Christmas, and we had our Thanksgiving, we couldn’t ask God for anything else,” said Bailey’s grandpa, Mike Habiger.
The family said they couldn’t have made it without the years of support from the community.
Farmers harvested the father’s milo, the community held fundraisers, Kansas State University made her a VIP for the day, she got to fly on a plane before her surgery, and so much more.
“She has just showed us how to act when you’re faced with the biggest fear of your life,” said community member Tonya Taylor.
“Bailey is just a, a warrior and um, I knew she was going to come through this,” said community member Beth Schmitt.
Now, they hope they can give back by spreading awareness.
“Tell them to just keep fighting, and they’ll get through it,” said Bailey.
Bailey’s mother Jill plans to write a book to help those who are experiencing these same obstacles and to spread awareness.